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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Are second-generation Corvettes on the move?

The second-generation (1963-67) Corvette is a cornerstone of the classic market and is, of course, a bucket-list car for many a collector. Yet as value trends go, it has been relatively boring in recent years. Stingrays mostly sat out the market peak of the last decade and were conspicuously absent among the vehicles that took off via online auctions in 2020 and 2021.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/market-trends/are-second-generation-corvettes-on-the-move/
47 REPLIES 47
ChrisKennedy
Pit Crew

Everytime I read an article like this I feel a certain sort of anger that another vehicle I have liked forever is becomming the plaything of speculators and will no longer be driven in the real world. Furthermore, the tone of these sorts of articles is that I am supposed to think this is a good development.

/s/ Chris Kennedy
Oldimpala
Detailer

Age and scarcity do that to collector items in all realms.

I'm 46, and stretched at 18 to buy a '63 Impala SS Convertible, with a factory 409 (340hp)/Powerglide. She was tired, and the 409 came in a box (spun bearing), but to this 18yo, it was perfection.

I make a little more today than I did stocking shelves at RadioShack in the day. It's appreciated well over the years.

There's still great affordable iron out there. Chrome bumper C3s are just beginning to take off, they're also a blast to drive (i own a '69 ragtop.) Tons of great 60s passenger cars/muscle cars are out there.

Grab something and enjoy it, instead of lamenting on the ones you can't grab. I had a chance at a cheap Dino years ago (still couldn't scratch it together) now they're worth as much as all my real estate combined... It happens.
Greg_I
Hagerty Employee

It's good if you already have one, but I feel your pain. I am solidly priced out of the market for my dream car.

 

I will remind you that the two cars at Gooding & Company are market outliers and should not be viewed as trendsetting sales due to their high originality and documentation. To expect those sales to be repeated would be wishful thinking.

vwwwv
Pit Crew

I feel that way about Alfa Romeo's. No longer able to afford any of the cool cars, but I had a few good ones back in the day.
jaycypraea
Pit Crew

Understand your feelings but the article has a point about the C2s lack of appreciation in the past. The cars they picked here were anomalies, you can still buy a C2 for very reasonable dollars. They are on average lower in cost than a C1 which has never made any sense to me. And they are often cheaper than many Mustangs. I have never understood the prices associated with the Mustang. Barrett Jackson will sell dozens of Mustangs and then a C2 comes along and maybe brings the same money. Doesn't make sense. All this being said it is time for these cars to demand more money. It's long overdue.
buellerdan
Instructor

C2 Corvettes have been on the move since shortly after I sold my '65 convertible in 1986. Sigh...
MrBill-1943
Detailer

I feel your pain. Owned a 56 Chevy, 54 Mercury, 60 Dodge Seneca just to name a few.
Stan65
Intermediate Driver

And my pain, mercury Sun Valley, 63 AH 3000, 72 MGB, 66 GTO. 69 GTO Judge, 68 Shelby GT500KR and a 1971 Z28. Don't you know I cry when those go across the auction block. :- (
1fastcat
Intermediate Driver

Estimates are opinions , eveyone has one . But , on the other hand , Hagerty had better adjust it's price guides .
MrBill-1943
Detailer

Always knew this series would increase in value. All I can say is prices will continue to rise making these all show and no go cars that will only to be seen at pricy shows, on line and in museums as opposed to turning heads and having fathers telling there kids stories about these cars back in the day when they roamed the streets with other cars of the 60's and had a chance to buy or owned one.
NathanH
New Driver

With the move on the C2’s. What about other generations C3’s for example. 

Oldimpala
Detailer

Early/Chrome C3s seem to be coming up. I believe it's partially because people are getting priced out of decent C2s.

C1s have been strong for a while. If it were me, I'd be looking for (and I am) odd C4s. I have a line on a low mileage ZR1 that might get tossed in my garage.... Plus, it's kinda fun in a late-80s tech kinda way.

I'm betting it'll appreciate in time.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

Depends what you want Nate. I'm on my 3rd C3. Most Corvette folks don't care for the '75 through '82 but they are amongst my favorite. Classy looking and fun to drive. If you search there are some diamonds in the rough. I think my '79 falls there. L-82 with an M-21, 4-speed and the factory option rear 3:70 to 1. From my research only 428 cars came with that drive train set up from the factory that year. It's not a fire-breather like the C3 chrome bumper cars but it's still a hell of a lot of fun to drive. I had a '68 and a '75. I like my '79 best.
JBBearcat
Detailer

Three or four years ago at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, I spoke with a couple of C2 restorer/vendors selling cars there. These were shops, not individuals.

Then I was told the entry level price for a condition 3 car was $65,000.

I like C2s, they are an icon, and I would love to have one.
But (like many other cars), they are not worth those prices AS A CAR given their limitations on handling, braking, suspension, you know, driving stuff.
So yes, worth money as a museum piece; as a car to own and drive, not so much.
These prices are fine if you have the cash to have a great car that is seldom driven, but for those of use who want to actually use our expensive toys, C2s have not been affordable for awhile.
Huey
Pit Crew

Drive a well sorted C2 and it will handle sweetly, brake well (post '65 cars had vented discs all round), have a great gearchange and go hard. Owned my '66 427/425 roadster for 27 years, using it as everyday driver in Paris, street racing, classic rallying and touring all over Europe. A great, trustworthy, reliable steed that I still miss. Still have my '63 Fuellie Split window Coupe - not quite as good in the braking department, but otherwise equally competent. Of course, C2s are not perfect, but were seen as highly competent in their day by the European and UK press. And yes, I have had an XKE, 928, lots of 911s and other '60s and '70s sports cars, so feel qualified to comment.
I hear you regarding values - my C2s were bought for much less than they are worth now, but I didn't buy for "investment" purposes.
Main thing is: insure these vehicles properly, drive them regularly and don't worry about the $$ value. The real value is the enjoyment they give you and others - I use my old cars as daily drivers for that reason.
bblhed
Instructor

Buy it when you can afford it, keep it, take care of it and enjoy it. I had a 1966 Barracuda that I paid $50 for back in the 80's and frankly the car was awful. I had a $200 Duster as well, and a $100 Chevy II. All those cars go a whole lot more today. The C2 was never my car, I like the C1 and the C3 was the Corvette I grew up with as a Corvette. Those cars were not meant for the fate that awaits them sitting in a climate controlled garage, they were for driving, those cars will likely never see the open road again.
OHCOddball
Advanced Driver

Too many have too much money pushing prices to unsustainable levels for these 'investments'. In the news last week, someone paid a million $ for a Pokemon card. a POKEMON CARD!!!!! Sorry, when there are people not able to afford their one room apartments with their BS paying jobs, there is a problem with society. I can appreciate something nice and maybe rare, but it is OBSCENE the way car prices are now. And I don't want to hear about 'supply and demand' or that people should go to college and get better jobs. Some jobs are paying garbage WITH college degrees required. The car hobby should be FUN and the 'investors' are ruining it.
vwwwv
Pit Crew

A criminal bought that POKEMON card with stolen bitcoin. Now the FEDs have it and will be auctioning it.
JBBearcat
Detailer

Simple solution.
Don't play their game.
But undervalued cars.
There are plenty out there.
That are affordable and when you go to a show you'll get more attention than "just another" '57 Chevy, Corvette, Mustang or MOPAR muscle car.
Simple.
mfp4073
Advanced Driver

Thats right. How about a perfect original low mile 1984 Pontiac Fiero? Third Gen Dodge Charger. Etc. Still can be had. Under $10k for the fiero if you are in the right place and time, not for long I think. But other deals out there too. Just got to shake the country club seen. No disrespect!
hyperv6
Racer

In the NFL it is the next man up if they lose a player. In cars it is the next model up. 

 

Just how things cycle around. Right now early second gen Trans Ams are all the rage value wise. The 76 and later cars are just now seeing some movement. 

 

#1 rule no matter what is buy what you like not what you think it may be worth. That way if it is not worth anything you have what you want. Or if you do pay up you still have what you want. 

 

Life is to short not to drive what you like. 

 

Another is condition. So many C2 cars can look good but be really a mess under the body. Also they can be made up of a number of cars. A well done restoration and or a original car often is the one to retain or gain value. 

 

If restored properly a graded car is the way to go. It adds value to have a Bloomington rating on it. 

 

 

PB
Pit Crew

These cars were undervalued for years and are finally being recognized, the opportunity to by them when they were cheap existed and many people didn’t make the commitment. For those who lost out I would suggest a chrome bumper c3 before they too are recognized for their value. Life’s short.
hyperv6
Racer

First gens are limited in availability as they have gone up to decent prices today. There fewer in numbers and the demand made them more valuable. 

 

The Second gen has grown and select models and options are prime real estate today while a basic 327 convertible still can be found for a deal. Also condition plays a big role. If it is a Bloomington graded car it adds value. If it is a Vette with a welded up rusty frame painted resale red not so much value. 

 

3rd gens are not moving much. Yes a L88 Or early LT1 will draw money condition what options again play a big role on chrome bumper cars. 

 

Now 3rd gen rubber bumper cars are very limited in value. Too many of them around and most are not real desirable. You get to the 74-77 cars not much desire. The Vega wheel car is the low point. 

 

Convertibles, Big Blocks, 4 speeds and most cool options like a removable real window etc. are prime. 68 and 69 are mixed love as they have limited features like the wiper cover and fiber optic but they also have more issues as these things often failed. Body mount cracks and quirks need to be looked at before buying. They are good cars but you need to know what to look for. 

 

The late C4 and C5 models are still the best bang for buck in performance cars. You can get many cars cheap and low mile yet. Lots of people bought these, drove them on sunny days only and wiped them with a diaper daily. They are often in better than new condition and only have 17,000 miles. 

 

I want either a Z06 C8 or a 59-60 C1. My son is in collage and my time is when he is out. I am waiting and watching. 

 

I have a history with a 59 FI car when I was a kid and would love to relive those drives I had back then. That car was a blast. It was like an old car but still sporty. It was all original accept for the engine block. It has a 302 short block in it and a hurst shifter. Yet it sported wide white walls and hub caps. 

BrentF
Intermediate Driver

I've owned 3 Corvettes over the years, a '59, '63 SWC, and a '66 L72 Coupe.
Had the '59 while at college. Bought the Split Window Coupe when I graduated and began working at General Motors in 1979. Bought the '66 big block in 2011 to relive the experiences of my youth. The C2 coupes are true, icons, none more so that the Split Window.
DouglasR
New Driver

I’ve had two ‘66 L79’s and a number’s match ‘65 FI coupe. It was a privilege to own them and I still think of them as the best of the brand including the C8. They were the perfect balance of styling and performance and I could wrench on them myself. It still takes my breath away when I see one today.
vwwwv
Pit Crew

What's the value differential for 327 powered Vette's I wonder. My older brother still has his 67 Stingray (327/350hp) he bought originally. I was hoping it might get passed down to me but nope. 😞 I wouldn't be comfortable driving it in this uninsured world these days although I admit I took it out for a couple of test drives at the age of 16 while he was off in Vietnam.
qbflyr
New Driver

I own a '67 C2 Corvette convertible and enjoy driving it almost twice a week in normal traffic enjoying the open air. I feel if you own a classic like this it needs to be driven and more importantly seen by the average driver. It is important for these cars to be enjoyed by many people not kept in a vault unseen by anyone.
My car was restored a few years ago by a previous owner who never enjoyed driving. He enjoyed the restoration process but never felt the power of L79 350 horsepower small block. All I can say is I am enjoying the heck out of this car!
This has been my dream car since age 14 when my dad let me drive and ask me "aren't you going to get on it?" Without hesitation I did my first burnout and haven't looked back.
CamaroRacer
New Driver

I'm with most of you guys and gals. I can't be spending the equivalent of my kids college savings on a 60 year old fashion statement that handles like a shopping cart. And if I could, not sure I would. Just not me. So I am hanging on to my beast of a 67 Camaro I've had since I was 17, and moving on to what I think of are contemporary classics for daily drivers. We are in the Golden Age of Muscle and the styling is pretty good in some cases. My preference is late model Mustangs. I buy the best used car I can afford, meticulously maintain it with particular emphasis to the undercarriage, and drive it like I stole it, every day I can. I don't want to trash talk the guys with money being "collectors" and pricing me out of the market. There have always been rich folks since time began and it is what it is. When I look around, I'm betting there are maybe 10M people in this country alone who would sell their soul to be me, and I don't even print my own money. All I can say is that I found a way to put a smile on my face every day no matter what car I own that I get in to, without breaking my bank and it works for me and I recommend it to other car enthusiasts. Just my ten cents, and then some.
Huey
Pit Crew

Love your attitude! Just find a car that you enjoy, maintain it and drive the snot out of it!

avideo
Detailer

I own a 1966 C2 Convertible that will be auctioned off on Thursday, March 17th at the Mecum Auction in Glendale, AZ. It's a fully restored red-on-red convertible with almost every option they installed in C2s in 1966. It's a 327/300 HP car with the original Powerglide transmission and runs cool even here Arizona. It also has factory AC - which is very useful here in AZ!
Unlike most big block C2s, it does not overheat or is a garage ornament that rarely gets driven.
I've also ungraded many engine items such as the water pump, cooling system, alternator, 4 wheel brakes and lots more - much to the dismay of weenies in the NCRS cult. (And yes I do consider it
a cult, since most rational people won't let some old fart tell them their car sucks because it has the wrong letter on an engine bolt.!)
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

What a crazy market. I love the "stock" cars but the prices just continue to go more and more insane.
dd1
Detailer

It will be interesting to see what happens as more of the baby boomers and silent generation die off. Will the millenials and Gen Z'ers share the same level of interest in these types of vehicles? Interesting question that will obviously play itself out in the coming decades. It will be interesting to see how valuable these vehicles will be 30 years from now.
Musco03
Intermediate Driver

Just watch any auction and watch who are buying the 60s cars, most are older than the cars.
jimliberty
Intermediate Driver

Chris, only if you are selling. The split window has been on my list for decades. Not anymore. .....Jim.
LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS
PRScott
Instructor

Kinda sad when the odometer is the most valuable part on the car.
timb0
Intermediate Driver

At $6 for a gallon of fuel, my dream car just changed to a Prius!
SilentBoy741
Instructor

Maybe it's just me, but I never want to be the chump who "Paid The Highest Price Ever For a [insert car name here]".
digger
Pit Crew

I still have the 65 Corvette I brought in 1977. In over 40 years the market has been the same as for most cars. A roller coaster, I need to sell so this is good news to me. Did not mention I paid 3300.00 for it.
MYTFAST
Intermediate Driver

Can't imagine what the insurance cost is, especially on the million $$ plus cars
ROBBO99
Detailer

Toys for the super rich only !!
fstntq
Pit Crew

You guys are LATE to the party if you think this is is "just starting to change". C2 and C3 Vettes have been on the move for some time with C2's having some eye popping results the last 6 months or so. While highly optioned are bringing eye waterings #'s, the whole genre has been pulled up the valuation spectrum. The question will be how sticky it is given other comings and goings in the economy etc.
jaysalserVW
Advanced Driver

The C-2s are some of the most beautiful cars ever created in the USA! Anyone owning one should drive with his head held high!
77GL
Detailer

$423,000 in 60 years is less than $20 per day appreciation. Consider the cost per day of storing, maintaining, repairing, insuring and the opportunity cost, a lot of expensive classics are cheaper to buy today at what we think are high prices than to have owned and cared for all those years. And admit it, few owners take this kind of care with their vehicles.
Musco03
Intermediate Driver

Oh well! I am probably one of hundreds who saw an bought one of the first Big Block 66 Vett coupes with the 425 HP 427 right out of the Bard Chevrolet dealership showroom floor for $5500.00.
No AC and the most dangerous tires that GM could have put on and car essentially this beast.
My self and I am sure the rest of you are saying "boy for the good old days"
jnkvance
New Driver

The "incompetent senile old fool in the white house" still has the '67 coupe he bought new. Maybe he isn't so dumb after all.
66Mosport
New Driver

jnkvance: Eshewing all the the obvious, countless ways you could have pointed out avideo's ignorance, you replied with wit. Nice touch. Who knows what motivates someone to make a banal comment like his in a forum like this?

jnkvance
New Driver

Oops, I'm wrong. Joe's '67 is a convertible not a coupe.